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18 May

Kavanaugh accuser lauded as honest, brave

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Christine Blasey Ford has been lauded as brave and honest after testifying against Brett Kavanaugh.Christine Blasey Ford began her testimony in front of a Senate committee by saying she was “terrified,” and at times she looked it.
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But by the time she finished detailing her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, Ford was being widely praised as credible and brave.

Before the Senate hearing on Thursday, Ford had never appeared on camera, and was only depicted in news media reports with a grainy photo lifted from the internet.

She emerged in the eyes of many American women as a compelling figure in the #MeToo movement that is usually associated less with the names of victims and more with a list of high-profile men accused of misconduct.

Thousands of conservatives took to social media to accuse Ford of lying to bring down Kavanaugh, who angrily and tearfully denied her accusations in a day of dramatic, high-stakes testimony from both the accused and the accuser.

While Republican senators depicted her testimony as part of a partisan attack orchestrated by Democrats, they – and Kavanaugh – were careful not to attack Ford personally.

And outside Congress, even many prominent conservatives were willing to praise Ford.

“Dr. Ford comes across as a credible person who has suffered the serious emotional impact of a disturbing incident in her teens,” said Alice Stewart, a conservative strategist who has worked on several Republican presidential campaigns.

“This will boil down to the sincere credibility of someone with nothing to gain versus the sincere credibility of someone with everything to lose.”

Right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich tweeted, “Ford seems kind. This doesn’t strike me as partisan.”

Fox News commentator Chris Wallace called Ford’s testimony “extremely credible” and a “disaster for the Republicans.”

Moira Donegan, a writer and prominent voice in the #MeToo movement, said Ford struck a chord among American women.

“So many women around the country were watching it together in rooms and texting one another about what they were seeing, identifying with her,” said Donegan said.

Still, even many Republicans who believed Ford was honestly recounting what happened to her took the view that it was a case of mistaken identity, believing Kavanaugh’s emotional testimony that he was not there and did not attack her.

Ford, a 51-year-old psychology professor from California, began her appearance by asking for a cup of coffee, her jaw tight with nerves. Her voice cracked at times as she then gave an emotional account of the alleged assault in 1982.

When a male senator read Kavanaugh’s denial, Ford appeared to shudder. She appeared to be close to tears at times, but she was firm and dignified throughout.

A GoFundMe page to support Ford and pay for her security and legal expenses quickly doubled its fundraising total after it was mentioned during the hearing.

It had already raised the initial target of $US150,000 ($A206,500) before the hearing and that jumped about $US250,000 on Thursday to over $US412,000.

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